Peter Julian, Canada's natural resources critic, claims that the mining sector has lost jobs over the last 10 years and would like to right the resource sector by pushing it toward more value-added work.
"Putting aside the oil and gas sector, look at the mining, quarrying and smelting sectors. Over the last ten years, we have seen a decline in the number of jobs. We have seen a lot of new investments, but lower wages jobs have increased," said Julian in an interview with the Financial Post.
(According to Statistics Canada, employment in the mining and quarrying sector excluding oil and gas is up about 10% from 2001 to 2011. In 2001 51,231 were employed in this sector, and now its 56,669. Julian said he will be getting back to MINING.com with his own tables.)
Julian, who represents Burnaby-New Westminster, a riding near Vancouver in British Columbia, is arguing for a resource sector that broadly shares its gains through more value-added production.
"We have lost half a million manufacturing jobs under the Conservatives’ watch and they want to fuel raw exports rather than development of refinery capacity and upgrading capacity."
Julian held fast to the NDP's claim that the high dollar cost Canada manufacturing jobs.
"We have seen a whole number of reports including studies from federal government that show the high dollar has played a contributory role to the collapse of our manufacturing industries. What’s interesting in Mark Carney’s speech in the accompanying notes, confirms what we have been saying…."
The western premiers have been pushing back against the NDP's criticisms that the resource sector is coming at the expense of the manufacturing sector.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall tweeted his frustrations.
The NDP leads the Conservatives 35 to 33, according to a poll by the ThreeHundredEight.com.